Sunday, December 05, 2010

Jumping on a Moving Train

Well, *ahem*, not in his case. He's just relaxing and looking pretty :)

But that’s pretty much what we came back home to since by the time we arrived from our adventurous trip home, the litchi harvest, airstrip bulldozing/grading, and intensive seminar were just kicking into gear. We arrived home on Saturday night, which left Sunday for us to unpack our magnanimous load and prepare, as best we could, for Monday.

Litchi’s hung heavy on the trees waiting for Monday, the first day of harvest, to arrive.

Heavy machinery and men worked the soil on the airstrip so the slope and elevation will be just right.

Looks good so far. But there is sort of a low spot...

Which you can see better in this zoomed shot.

Turns out there’s a bit more dirt that needs to be moved than had been anticipated. Dirt is like that though. It doesn’t look like much until you start trying to put it somewhere else.

We introduced the new health course, “Building Healthy Communities”, during the last seminar, so this week it was time to give the first “Building Healthy Communities” exam. For the first time in my life, I made a 50 question multiple-choice exam. The making of an exam is kind of like moving dirt. It doesn't look hard until you tackle it!

My main objective was to reinforce teaching. But I also wanted to test knowledge so we’d know how effective the course teaching/materials were. I also wanted the exam to be challenging, but fair. I'm not into "tricky". I’m happy to say that all the health course students passed with good marks!

General health session with pastors and monitors

Their accommodations: the tents we hauled back.

Celestino, one of the Socorristas (health care workers), teaches about tuberculosis. He and other Socorristas recently received intensive training on TB as part of the Mozambican Health Department's effort to tackle the increasing incidence and severity of this disease in the country. It always makes me happy to see Mozambicans teaching Mozambicans.

Me giving a short spiel on why churches should be concerned about health issues.

At the end of seminar week, the monitors and pastors write their exams, receive supplies and training materials, then head home. It makes for a very busy but very exciting Saturday!

Above: Francois registering the number of orphans in remote church orphan programs. These programs receive matching funding from the mission. I liked this guy's weathered t-shirt which read (fairly literally):

"Leaders. Stop AIDS. Keep the Hope."

Joao, the mission's sponsored university student who recently completed his 4 year degree, returned "home" just one day after we did. Very capable and always one to jump into the fray, here he is organizing course booklets that monitors will take back to their areas for training other leaders.

Dwight and Pastor Ricardo keeping track of who gets which books, etc.

And last but by all means not least, Alta hands out packs of supplies for remote church women's literacy programs. "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" is something to think about, especially from a health perspective. It is a known fact that women who can read take better care of themselves and their families. Better family care = higher productivity. Higher productivity = better educated children, improved income and better living conditions. Better educated children = increased earning power and the ability to better care for their families. The positive repercussions are almost endless.

Pastors and Monitors with their ever growing number of books and supplies. Once this and the certificate giving ceremony are over, seminar is finished once again and everyone heads home until next time.

Waiting for the bus going north.

Dwight and I had a few moments yesterday to check the campsite's new "dining/meeting area thatched hut". (There is no adequate north American term for this kind of structure!) Low walls are just being finished which will help provide extra seating, then the floor will be poured.

Nothing is so beautiful or smells so nice as a freshly finished thatched roof with creosoted gum poles! The creosote itself doesn't smell so fabulous, but for pretty much anyone who has lived in Africa, it brings back good memories of some or other thatched place from somewhere else back in time. Mmmmmmm.

I will sign off with a photo of the most unusual flower I found up by the airstrip the other day. It looks like a large Dandelion puff, but it's a flower.

It may not be the most handsome flower, but its beauty is in its uniqueness.



Andrea Pavkov said...

Hi Lynn. You are SO right about the smell of a freshly thatched roof. I love it and I can imagine it even now as I sit here in cold NH waiting for it to snow. Continue to pray for you guys and all the hard work you are doing. Blessings.

Amanda said...

thanks for the awesome photos as usual!!! Neat flower! Do you know what it's called?